Home Antioch Antioch Mayor Proposes $300k be Spent on Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan for Homeless

Antioch Mayor Proposes $300k be Spent on Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan for Homeless

by ECT

On Tuesday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe announced that through the Transitional Housing Ad-Hoc Committee, they are proposing $300k to be spent on housing services for homeless.

The program, called the Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan, would be focused around getting homeless in the downtown area near the railroad tracks off the streets and into housing in the City of Pittsburg.

The announcement came after Thorpe attended a candlelight vigil for Louie Rocha who last week was struck by a train while trying to cross the railroad tracks to use a public restroom.

“His death along with many others around the nation symbolizes everything that is contrary to our American values,” said Thorpe. “Individualism doesn’t free me, or any of you, from the greater good of the we which is needed for community cohesion.”

Thorpe was critical of former President Ronald Reagan for proclaiming that “government is not the solution to our problem government is a problem” in 1981.

“In my humble opinion, President Reagan couldn’t have been more wrong,” said Thorpe. “When I was born in prison, state government provided me with stability and placing me in foster care with the appropriate support systems until I was 18-years-old. Thank god government stepped up to help me when I had no one else to turn to.”

Thorpe stated although things were not easy, it was the stability provided by government that allowed him to join the Navy and succeed—then complete college through federal grants and loans while providing him an opportunity to buy a home.

“Since President Reagan, and every president since him, including members of my own political party, have overseen major cuts and reforms to social safety net of our county which has helped push and keep many more people into poverty, housing insecurity, and homelessness,” said Thorpe.

Thorpe explained over the past two years, the City of Antioch has worked on leasing the Executive Inn on 18th Street with wrap around services to provide stability for those living on the streets of Antioch.

He announced the Antioch Planning Commission, after working on this for a year-and-a-half, tomorrow will discuss this issue—if approved, it moves to the City Council after 30-days.

“Today, I am announcing a joint proposal by Councilmember Mike Barbanica and I called the Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan which authorizes an additional $300k towards homeless services,” stated Thorpe. “Specially, to secure 15-rooms from Contra Costa County at the Motel 6 in Pittsburg for individuals living along active railroad tracks in and around downtown Antioch.”

Jazmin RidleyJazmin Ridley, Antioch Unhoused Resident Coordinator, said in response to the recent death, reached out to homeless in the area to explain dangers of living along the railroad tracks and provide update of housing opportunities—an interest list was created.

“We have provided short-term motel vouchers to address immediate needs,” said Ridley. “As of today, we are housing a total of 22-people and 6-pets for short-term stays.”

Ridley further highlighted the further Motel 6 in the City of Pittsburg, now called the Delta Landing Interim Housing, will reopen its doors next moth which includes wrap around support services including medical, benefit assistant, behavior health, case management, housing navigation and rapid rehousing assistance.

Thorpe called on community support stating the program would not work if the community allows this to be a dangerous haven.

“I really hope every homeless advocate, every single person who in their heart is doing the work of the lord by feeding folks down here, providing them with toiletries, recognize that this is a dangerous location for anybody to be residing,” stated Thorpe. “I need folks to understand that as we work to push people to the hotel, move them to get stability, its important for you to partner with us to ensure we get folks there. Feeding people here, having people be here, its not safe. We can’t allow that to happen. This is just too dangerous.”

Thorpe also highlighted the Antioch Police Department, Code Enforcement, and Abatement team will meet to produce a plan to proactively serve as a referral mechanism to these programs and to ensure people are not living along the railroad tracks.

“We have to provide balance by providing opportunity but also a mechanism to encourage folks to move to the hotel,” said Thorpe.

The item will go before the Antioch City Council on December 14 who will need to approve the $300k spend.  The program will begin on Dec. 16 and in the interim folks will stay at the Executive Inn.

He then offered his condolences to the Rocha family.

“This wasn’t a failure of the railroad track, a failure of a city hall, failure of an advocate, failure of me or you, this was a failure of our collective community that we have allowed people to be on our streets.” stated Thorpe. “This is everybody’s responsibly, we have to encourage and work hard to get people into housing.”

Ridley further highlighted the program which the City of Antioch will have access to 15-beds at any given time which attendees would receive services aimed at getting them into stable housing. She anticipated the timing could take is based on individual needs and individual approach which on average is 120-days for people to work through the services.

“As each bed becomes available, people on the list will then be served with the opportunity,” said Ridley. “Depending on the time it takes for successful placement, new rooms will be available on an ongoing basis for up to a 1-year period as currently conceived.”

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Bill Moon Nov 30, 2021 - 3:42 pm

So dump Antioch homeless into Pittsburg? Thanks Thorpe you idiot. Why not just say you decided to work with the county and use their program at the motel and throwing money at it. Why do you always seek credit when you have done nothing? This guy is such a clown

Clown Nov 30, 2021 - 6:10 pm

Does anyone really give a shit what JJ Walker has to say ? Hes a clown and as corrupt as there is!

STREET-SWEEPER Nov 30, 2021 - 7:06 pm

Here’s an idea, wait for the fucking train to cross before crossing the track. Its not like this guy hasn’t shit and pissed in public many many times.

Simonpure Dec 1, 2021 - 7:01 am

Adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning ‘to grow up’) is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority).

STREET-SWEEPER Dec 1, 2021 - 8:33 pm

Ignorant: lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about a particular thing.

Johnny Law Nov 30, 2021 - 8:07 pm

Are they going to pay the salaries of the Pittsburg officers who are going to get stuck with all the problems these homeless cause at the Walmart and surrounding businesses?

Another waste of money! Dec 1, 2021 - 7:54 am

You dont get “accidentally” hit by a train in that spot.

Larry Dec 1, 2021 - 8:36 am

This guy is an idiot and Barbanica should know better. Its nice 15 homeless are in a motel, but what about the other 100 still on the streets? Where is their bathroom? None of that is addressed and don’t feed them? Give me a break. Vote this idiot out.

Robert C. Dec 1, 2021 - 8:38 am

With all due respect to the deceased, this accident does NOT “symbolize all that is contrary to our American values” as stated by Mr. Thorpe. What BS. It is simple an unfortunate accident. Mr. Thorpe is emitting hot air again as usual. Your job is to run city government, Mr. Thorpe – NOT to tell us what “American values” are or should be. You are an insignificant local politician. Stop trying to fix the world – there’s plenty to fix in Antioch and you aren’t doing anything about it.

mrtbcabo Dec 1, 2021 - 10:21 am

Until we address the real reasons about homelessness we will never fix the problem. Also, if we keep throwing money at the Industrial homeless complex and people are cashing in on this it will never get fixed. If we are going to be honest, it’s not a homeless problem it a addiction problem and more of a Meth problem. There is new type of meth on the streets now which is made up of different chemical of old ( A long but good read in the Atlantic if interested) Google P2P meth, this new Meth is destroying brains in months instead of years. Look, people who have become homeless say through a medical bill or Covid can find tons of services to get back on there feet, with that said you can lead a horse to water…If we don’t prosecute crime, supply free needle, free food, around $1000 financial aid monthly why would a junkie want help. Please don’t label me as a hater, 25 years ago I had a drug problem and was semi homeless, but I sought help and today I’ve been at my job for 23 yeas own a home and am doing fairly well. So, let’s stop calling it a homeless problem and call it by what it really is, a junkie problem.

Reid Enright Dec 1, 2021 - 11:43 am

Has anyone noticed the the Motel 6 in Pittsburg is currently closed? Shuttered! No rooms for let! So when is this the Emergency Housing for going to take place? June 2023, ??? Mister Mayor, 60% of Antioch’s motel rooms are already occupied by long term guests. Even now it is difficult for Opportunity to Live Here if business clients need to find rooms in Concord. Think about that!!!

Dana Roach Dec 1, 2021 - 8:32 pm

What happened to the Trailers the city bought?

Deborah Hamilton Dec 3, 2021 - 12:43 am

It is not just a drug problem. I don’t know if you truly understand what it’s like to lose everything you ever work for & not because of drugs but because of medical bills after a traumatic lose of a limb. Yes there are social service programs, I don’t know where anyone gets a $1,000.00 a month I receive about $900.00 & that is now I am now retired I still don’t get $1,000. a month. Until this past year because I was receiving Social Security disability I couldn’t get food stamps. Since you’ve had a job for 23 years I don’t think you are qualified to discuss what is available for assistance, you haven’t been in the system & I hear a lot of the same rhetoric that many others who have never been on the edge of the cliff that any second an I’ll wind could blow & you’ve lost it all. So be careful lumping everyone into the drugs are the problem.

Terry McDaniels Dec 17, 2021 - 11:58 pm

I am so concerned for the homeless and the quality of help offered to them is really a joke at times. Where in the hell is all the Grant money donated to none profit organizations to specifically help the homeless. I can remember reading about money the city was granted to build a huge building to help the homeless 5 or so years ago but things not up to code prevented it from ever happening. And those mobile units i think five of them that could house up to six people were donated to help homeless here in antioch but they had no place to legally park them so they were empty parked in city lot across st from skipolini’s pizza parlor. Im just saying.

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